The Finnish City of Lathi has unveiled a free mobile known as CitiCap, through which residents can track their CO2 and be rewarded for reducing their mobility emissions.
The launch of this Personal Carbon Trading (PCT) scheme is part of an overarching effort to make the urban area more environmentally friendly, developed within the scope of the CitiCAP project (Citizens’ cap-and-trade co-created), funded by the EU’s Urban Innovative Actions Initiative.
The CitiCAP app is very user-friendly, making it attractive and easy to use by the city’s residents. The app automatically tracks the means of transport used by each user, allowing them to see the carbon footprint generated by their transport use, but also track the changes in emission patterns, as they adapt to more sustainable transport usage.
The reward system put in place by the app is very attractive. For instance, if a user usually uses the car and decides to walk or ride a bike instead, they are rewarded with virtual currency; virtual coins that can be used to purchase public transport tickets, access to sports halls, and local swimming pools, among others.
As pointed out by Anna Huttunen, project manager for sustainable mobility in the city of Lahti “Through CitiCap we will build a completely new public incentive, the personal carbon trade, that may revolutionise the participation of citizens to climate change mitigation.”
One of the goals of the project behind the app is to collect and make data about mobility available, which can in turn inform the planning of urban transport in the city of Lahti. For example, during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, records show that car traffic decreased by approximately 30%, with a decrease of 80% in bus passengers. Information such as this can better inform mobility planning and management, making it more easily adaptable to changing contexts and/or needs.
Lahti ambitions to become carbon neutral by 2025 hang on schemes such as CityCAP, with the incorporation of as many smart solutions as possible to enable the transition to a more sustainable lifestyle and urban mobility. In fact, as stated by Jyrki Myllyvirta, Mayor of Lahti, “Sustainable urban mobility is a key focus area of Lahti for the next years. Our aim is to find the most inspiring ways to attract more people to walk, cycle, and use public transportation”.
The app is available for download, free of charge, and its use is voluntary. The app has been tested for more than a year is expected to last at least until the end of 2020.
Photo Credit: Karavanov_Lev/ Shutterstock.com – no permission to re-use image(s) without separate licence from Shutterstock.
Article first published first at Smart Cities World on 15 June 2020.